What Is an Appraisal?

Purchasing a home is the most significant financial decision some people could ever consider. It doesn't matter if where you raise your family, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is an involved transaction that requires multiple parties to make it all happen.

The majority of the people involved are quite familiar. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Next, the lender provides the financial capital needed to fund the deal. And ensuring all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to pass from the seller to the buyer is the title company.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the property is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer might expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Diehl Appraisal Service will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Appraisals begin with the inspection

Our first task at Diehl Appraisal Service is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they truly are there and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the house, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Replacement Cost

Here, we gather information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to determine how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used predictor of value.

Analyzing Comparable Sales

Appraisers become very familiar with the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of certain features to the people of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the area and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as square footage, extra bathrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces or view lots (just to name a few), we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • For example, if the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable home.
  • If the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add a certain amount to the comparable property.

In the end, the appraiser reconciles the adjusted sales prices of all the comps and then derives an opinion of what the subject could sell for. When it comes to putting a value on features of homes in Gilbert and Maricopa, Diehl Appraisal Service is your local authority. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a home sale.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third method of valuing a house. In this scenario, the amount of income the property produces is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Putting It All Together

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to state an estimated market value for the subject property. It is important to note that while the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it may not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the individual circumstances of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.Regardless, the appraised value is often used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. It all comes down to this, an appraiser from Diehl Appraisal Service will guarantee you attain the most accurate property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.